The New Democratic Party of Ontario seems intent on remaking itself or, at least, is trying to convince the province’s voters that it has transformed into Liberal-lite. Recent evidence of this is the NDP’s latest election platform that leader Andrea Horwath unveiled Thursday.
Horwath promised Ontarians “a better government,” one that she said “respects their tax dollars.” Then she went on to announce a platform that could just as well have been prepared for a Liberal party campaign. In fact, the NDP platform resembles the Liberal budget she rejected, begging the question, why we are even having an election if Kathleen Wynne was doing much the same as Horwath would have done had she been premier.
The answer, of course, is—and I’ve said this before—if the NDP leader had said “yes” to the Grit’s budget she’d also have been saying yes to Wynne’s scandal-ridden Liberal government that happens to be currently under criminal investigation by the OPP. And, “yes,” to a $1-billion gas plant boondoggle and, “yes,” to $1-billion squandered on eHealth, et al.
Yet isn’t it curious that, but for a-small-corporate-tax-hike tweak here and a-promise-to-cut-government-waste tweak there, Horwath and her Dippers seem to be channeling the Grits to a tee?
Where are the social reforms one would expect from a social democratic party? Where’s the anti-capitalism rhetoric we used to hear? Oh, I’m sure big oil and big banks will see their tax rates rise, but nothing like the huge four percentage points tax rate hike Horwath promised in 2011.
Horwath, apparently, represents a new New Democratic party. Gone are the wild-eyed socialist who once promised to nationalize banks. Gone, too, is the promise to expand public health care to include dental and universal prescription drug coverage—at least, such is not in the NDP platform.
No, no, of course not. Well, maybe…